thomas m wilson

A Philosophical Land

February 8th, 2010


Tonight I was walking through John Forrest National Park with a friend.  Do you know the jarrah and wandoo and dryandra clothed slopes of the Darling Scarp in late afternoon light towards midsummer?

This is not a gushing, romantic, sloppy land, I thought as I walked.  This land is spartan and dry and ancient and philosophical. Unlike rainforests or temperate forests, this land has an intense and stark lucidity and openness.  It is not a place of soft excrescences.  It is a philosophical land of dry open shrubs and light-shunning eucalyptus leaves that point down towards earth, and let the fantastic sunshine slip past them and onwards. Now evening light falls on the dry bark and white trunks of elder wandoo trees. It is a land searching for the memory of so many proud and forever gone Nyoongar hunters and gatherers.  Now granite monadnocks squat antiquely.  It is the 2.5 billion year old bones of the planet, sticking through the surface.

It is the land for those who love, or learn to love, the truth, the glaring, searing, the ancient truth.